Apple Requests for Xbox Vice President’s Testimony to Be Discredited in Epic vs. Apple Trial

by in Fortnite | May, 7th 2021

The ongoing Epic Games vs. Apple trial in the federal courts of Northern California is heating up quite intensely this week as the first week of the monumental event is nearing an end. One of the key moments from this week—that didn’t happen on the first day’s events—has to do with the current Xbox vice president. 

Apple Wishes to Discredit Xbox Vice President’s Testimony

Lori Wright, Xbox’s vice president, was called to the stand by the Fortnite creators Epic Games to give testimony as one of the witnesses against Apple and its policies. However, the testimony that Wright provided has been requested by Apple to be discredited. 

Apple is hoping that the courts will deem the testimony invalid and that it will be removed from consideration in this trial. This is possibly since Wright’s testimony while she was a witness on the stand leaned in favor of Epic Games, though she did provide evidence against both sides at times.  

The current Xbox vice president was called to the stand on Wednesday, May 5, and both Apple and Epic Games’ counsels had the opportunity to question her during the process. Though the testimony happened on Wednesday, it wasn’t until late on May 6 when Apple filed this motion to discredit her testimony. 

The general request has to do with the fact that Apple believes that Wright did not provide enough documents to the court to prove some of the statements that were made. This includes situations like the Xbox Cloud Gaming app’s complicated issue and the lack of profits that Microsoft makes from Xbox console devices. 

This Isn’t the First Time Apple Has Intervened About the Witness

The Xbox vice president made statements in her testimony about both of these subjects. However, Apple claims that there isn’t enough evidence to back up these arguments. The federal court has yet to provide a decision in the matter at the time of writing this. 

Interestingly, though, this is not the first time that Apple’s counsel has attempted to invalidate the testimony from Xbox vice president Lori Wright. The tech giant requested last month that she be excluded from being one of the witnesses in the trial unless she provided documents before a certain date. 

The court formally rejected that request. Her testimony proceeded as seen in the trial this week. However, Apple is now attempting to discredit her statements once more. Still, this time, the 79 documents provided by Microsoft do not go over the emails that Apple believes are necessary to the trial. 

The iPhone creator believes that Wright has intentionally prevented certain documents from being presented to the courts, therefore, leaning her and Microsoft’s support towards Epic Games in the process. As mentioned already, though, the Xbox vice president presented information that could be used against both parties in this case. 

Wright Made Statements in Favor of Both Sides

For instance, in favor of what Apple is trying to prove in this trial, Wright noted that a tech company could have multiple platforms and run those platforms differently. For example, there is the Windows PC operating system and the Xbox platform that Microsoft has. 

Both could be considered available for gaming purposes and have elements of similar infrastructure coming from the same company, but they certainly have different ways of handling their policies. Sure, the Xbox consoles are more open than some competitors, but it is still fairly restricted than the open Windows environment where you can accomplish much more. 

This is actually in favor of Apple’s argument about how the MacOS could differ completely from what the company does with the mobile devices in the iOS ecosystem. Macs are notably more open than the iPhone and iPad, and Epic is trying to change that, but Wright’s testimony lends credence that it is possible to have multiple platforms and ways of handling them. 

But that was only one piece of the puzzle. Wright did potentially lean in Epic Games’ favor, for the most part beyond that portion, since the Fortnite developer did call her to the stands after all. This can be seen in the fact that Wright notably brought up the recent issues with the Xbox Cloud Gaming service and the company’s dealings with Apple in his testimony. 

Wright’s Arguments Against Apple

As you may know, the cloud gaming that Xbox has is growing considerably and is one of the main pillars of the console at this time. However, up until recently, it has been difficult for iOS users to partake in streaming their Xbox games to their mobile device. 

That has since changed, but the Xbox vice president noted how Apple had a sole say in what happened with the App Store, meaning that you essentially had to abide by everything the corporation required. Furthermore, Wright also testified about mobile gaming vs. console gaming. 

One of the key parts of Apple’s argument is that you can game wherever you would like, so even though Fortnite is not available currently in the App Store and on Macs, you could play it somewhere else, like on an Xbox. However, Wright did argue against this point in her testimony. 

She noted that Microsoft does not look at the iPhone as a true competitor to the Xbox platform, which makes sense since both platforms target different audiences generally and have different ways of tackling them. With this statement in place, it does tackle the fact that this isn’t potentially an issue of simply telling someone to play Fortnite somewhere else and broadens the trial subject like Epic is trying to argue. 

It remains to be seen what the court will decide to discredit the testimony from the Xbox vice president or not, but that should be revealed soon. Like Wright, there are likely more star witnesses who will contribute to this case in the future, so check back for more details of this ongoing case soon. 


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